DREAM Weekly Update on Disability and Higher Education in the News: December 4-10, 2016
From DREAM: Disability Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring
Sponsored by the National Center for College Students with Disabilities and the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD)
Disability and higher education in the news (in no particular order):
* Blind Japanese international relations professor Jun Ishikawa is the newest member of the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=55706#.WEsoaeYrI2w
* At the request of the college president, Grinnell College has worked for two years on a “comprehensive response to serving students, faculty and staff with disabilities”; findings of the Disability and Accessibility Task Force were finally presented to the campus community, including support for universal design and making disability part of campus diversity instead of a difference: http://www.thesandb.com/news/disability-and-accessibility-town-hall.html
* Physical and mental health concerns occur more frequently among community college students who experience food and housing insecurity, and those are especially big problems among African American and Southeast Asian students, says a new report from San Diego State University: http://diverseeducation.com/article/89897/
* In New Jersey, the Zwicker Bill becomes law, allowing forgiveness of state student loan debts if the borrower becomes permanently disabled or dies: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/south-brunswick-cranbury/articles/zwicker-bill-forgiving-student-loan-debt-in-event-2
* Cheerful and bubbly but always tired, wanting to say yes but needing to say no – balancing college demands are difficult when you’re an undergrad with a chronic illness, writes Denison University undergrad Jessica Leeds Richman: http://www.denisonian.com/2016/12/opinion/the-reality-of-living-with-a-chronic-illness/
* In Tennessee, about half the disabled people eligible for vocational rehabilitation (VR) services are not getting any assistance, including help attending college; meanwhile, $14 million in federal money for VR has been left unspent: http://hechingerreport.org/eligible-job-college-aid-half-tennesseans-disabilities-get-nothing/
* Brooklyn College’s new endowed chair for visiting professors is awarded to Brenda Foley for her interdisciplinary work in performance, disability studies, and women’s studies: http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/web/news/bcnews/bcnews_161207.php
* Student groups are helping reduce the stigma of seeking help for mental health issues; Lehigh University’s student newspaper says the question now is whether colleges will be able to keep up with the demand: http://thebrownandwhite.com/2016/12/07/the-strength-of-special-snowflakes-lehigh-mirrors-national-increase-in-mental-health-demands/
* The Office of Civil Rights gears up for “tough times” ahead, as it issued its annual report about skyrocketing numbers of “haunting” cases, including those involving disability and higher education; (a link to the report is in the article): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2016/12/08/education-department-civil-rights-officials-urged-to-work-through-tough-times-ahead/?utm_term=.551a26c0160a&wpisrc=nl_sb_smartbrief
* Emily Michael is a blind writing instructor and poet, and in a Tedx Talk, she wonders how to engage in dialogue about disability that will fight either/or dichotomies (video is captioned but not audio described): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9hBVPY0fC8
* The best way to fight attitudes about “invisible illnesses” is to open up communication about it, says new research by Southern Connecticut State University communications professor Melanie Savelli: http://www.nhregister.com/health/20161204/assistant-professor-at-scsu-wants-people-to-respect-invisible-illnesses
And a few related items of possible interest to college students:
* Donald Trump’s choice of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General is worrying many in the disability community, since he will be in charge of the Department of Justice, but has made past comments about special education as the “single greatest obstacle our educators face”: http://www.teenvogue.com/story/jeff-sessions-attorney-general-donald-trump-disability-community-education
* People are outraged by a 60 Minutes piece by Anderson Cooper on the ADA and how it is hurting businesses:
* Did you know that the Alfred Nobel (who set up the Nobel Prizes) had a disability? A series of blogs in the UK explore disability history and why so much of it is hidden: https://blog.scope.org.uk/2016/11/29/disability-is-often-written-out-of-history-we-need-to-ask-why/
* NPR has a new series on dyslexia, and you can check it out here (these are audio only; no transcripts are available): http://www.npr.org/series/503544816/unlocking-dyslexia
* Meet Maria Town, the Disability Community Liaison in the White House, featured in Amy Poehler’s “Smart Girls” series (video is captioned but no audio description): https://www.facebook.com/amypoehlersmartgirls/videos/10155429156694338/?comment_id=10155434262364338&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R%22%7D
* Nancy Mairs changed the field of disability studies through writing about her journeys with mental illness and multiple sclerosis, and she passed away this week at age 73 – if you’ve never read her works, now is a good time to honor her memory: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/07/books/nancy-mairs-dead-author.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1
* Liz Jackson wondered why her eyeglasses could be fashionable but her cane was not, so she set out to change the world of fashion and design (her Ted Residency Talk is captioned but not audio described): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovjSs8Z5We8
* Sex and dating for women with physical disabilities can be challenging at best and dangerous at its worst: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/08/well/family/dating-with-a-disability.html?_r=0
* Lady Gaga admitted she has PTSD, disclosing this to LGBTQ youth at a homeless shelter in New York City: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38218247
* Check out #CriptheVote’s online Twitter cha about intersectional activism and disability: https://storify.com/SFdirewolf/cripthevote-intersectional-activism-the-disability
* John Glenn passed away this week, and The Washington Post carried a story about his relationship with his wife Annie, and how her stuttering affected their life together: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/12/09/to-john-glenn-the-real-hero-was-his-wife-annie-conqueror-of-disability/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.400a6b4e7cbb
This week’s issue of the DREAM weekly e-mail is available at the DREAM website, with archived back issues available, as well (http://www.dreamcollegedisability.org). For more information about DREAM or AHEAD contact Wendy Harbour (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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By the way, please don't presume DREAM, the National Center for College Students with Disabilities, or AHEAD agree with everything in these links we send out - we're just passing along the information so you can form your own opinions. Thanks.
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